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Who's Dancin' Now?
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Who's Dancin' Now?

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Photo of students performingWHO'S DANCIN' NOW? features an arts education organization that continues to touch the lives of children in far-reaching and meaningful ways. Within this section, you can learn more about the National Dance Institute (NDI), the programs they offer, and their affiliate organizations. If an NDI program or any arts education initiative does not already exist in your neighborhood and you would like to learn more about how to establish one in your school or community, we provide some general guidelines to help start the process.

As one of the world's great dancers, Jacques d'Amboise has captivated the attention and admiration of large audiences for years. In 1976, this former New York City Ballet principal dancer channeled his energy and talent into a project that would impact the lives of even more people, including at least half of a million school children. D'Amboise founded the National Dance Institute to introduce public school students in the New York metropolitan area to the magic of dance. Since its inception, NDI has broadened its horizons to reach schools and children nationwide.

Photo of Jacques d'AmboiseEven though the programs continue to expand and flourish, the teaching methodology remains the same. All children in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades of a collaborating school-and not only the ones with a natural proclivity toward or curiosity about the arts- receive dance instruction during the school day. By exposing them to the risks, perseverance, and teamwork necessary in performing, these students learn lessons that reach far beyond dance. Children in the NDI program "develop discipline, a standard of excellence, and a belief in themselves that will carry over into all aspects of their lives." Former NDI student Shasheen attests to the mission and success of NDI: "The most important thing I probably got out of NDI and working with Jacques was, you know, you learn how to step up to bat and swing…You just get right up there, and do what you were told to do, and do it with some pride. That's a lifelong lesson no matter what you do." To read similar accounts about the long-lasting ramifications of an early dance experience, visit the NDI alumni who are featured in the film.

"We are made of emotions, and the arts are humanities' invention to engage and communicate those emotions. Keep the arts central in our lives." -Jacques d'Amboise

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